5 debit card don’ts

ShopSmart, the excellent magazine from the publishers of Consumer Reports, just came out with a list of ways you shouldn’t use your debit card. Among them: 1. Don’t use your debit card for big purchases or when you shop online. Credit cards can serve as a middleman in disputes, so you’re typically not out any […]

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New giveaway: Moonjars!

I’m giving away twelve (12!) Moonjar Moneyboxes. If there’s a child in your life who needs to learn about money, this is a great tool. The three-part cardboard bank allows kids to divvy their cash among three categories: save, spend and share. To enter to win, leave a comment here on my blog (not my […]

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Saving for college: what parents need to know

I’m giving a talk this morning to fellow parents about saving for college. I’ll be covering three important topics: why you need to save, how much you need to save and where you should put the money you’re saving. Why you need to save A college degree, or at least some post-high school training, is […]

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Want to save money on gas? Check out these cards

Credit card comparison site NerdWallet took a close look at gas cards offered by Gulf, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell and compared them to 10 cards that offered rewards at any gas stations. Nerdwallet’s conclusion: it doesn’t pay to be loyal to one brand of gas. NerdWallet found the station-branded cards offered lower rewards and […]

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Don’t buy life insurance if you don’t need life insurance

Dear Liz: I recently inherited around $200,000. I’m on track for retirement, so my broker is encouraging me to consider buying a policy for long-term care. He recommends a flexible-premium universal life insurance policy that requires a one-time upfront payment and provides a death benefit as well as a long-term care benefit. It does appear […]

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Prepaid cards aren’t a great choice for travel

Dear Liz: I have been granted a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge of all my debts. I’m now debt free and plan to stay that way. I’ve been saving like crazy and have enough to afford a cross-country driving trip to attend my son’s wedding. I’d like your advice on using prepaid debit cards to cover […]

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Try, try again

One of the most frustrating things about money is that progress may not be permanent. But it’s still progress—if you keep going. Here’s what I mean. Say you make a goal to boost your emergency fund. You manage to save a few hundred bucks—and then your car breaks down, or you get a speeding ticket, […]

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Use windfall to pay down debt, boost savings

Dear Liz: I am closing a business deal that will net me just under $1 million. I have an interest-only loan on my home, two car loans and credit-card debt. My plan was to “clear the plate” and pay everything off, leaving me about $175,000. I am not worried about getting into further debt, as […]

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How to stop collection calls

Dear Liz: About six months ago a debt collection agency started contacting me, by phone and the occasional letter, claiming that I have a past debt of about $20,000 that I owe to a bank card. I have never heard of this particular card or bank. I keep very accurate files, and I do not […]

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